How to handle a ‘no’

People might say, “well look….. let us think about it, maybe we can get back again tomorrow” which technically is saying ‘no’. So how do you handle that?

Topic – When ‘no’ means ‘maybe

Mentor – Leanne Pilkington

  • It is all about the language you use
  • So many different reasons
  • Do scripts and dialogue help?

Property Management Matters with Tara Bradbury – How is the energy of your team?  That energy has a rub-off effect.


Kevin:   Leanne Pilkington is our guest this week. Leanne is the Managing Director of Laing+Simmons and also president of the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales. When no means maybe. We shouldn’t always take it as a no. Hello, Leanne. Welcome back into the show. Good to have your company again.

Leanne:   Thanks so much.

Kevin:   Scenario here is that, as we identified yesterday, they’re probably not gonna say no. They might say, well look, let us think about it, or maybe we can get back again tomorrow, which technically is saying, well, no. But how do we handle that, Leanne? What do we say?

Leanne:   Well, I guess it’s all about the language that you use. So words like, help me to understand why. Help to understand what else you need to know. Help me to understand what you’re concerned about. Those words can go in front of lots of things. So it’s important just to get some more details so that you do have an understanding as to whether there’s an objection with what you’re trying to do or there’s just something else you need more information on.

Kevin:   Yeah, ’cause I think we need to acknowledge, as you identified yesterday, that the no is really maybe a cry for more information, or it could also be the fact that they are not 100% convinced that you can do the job.

Leanne:   Yeah. That’s right. You might not be the person for them. Absolutely.

Kevin:   So, we will cover that in a little bit more detail tomorrow, but just getting back to that response you said. Help me understand. Is there more information that I need to give you? Or why are you not comfortable to proceed now?

Leanne:   Exactly. There could be so many different reasons. They might not be the only decision-maker. They might have a relationship with another agent. They just might want some breathing space. There’s lots of different reasons why they might be hedging their bets, and you just need to try and understand what that is so that you can provide what it is that they need.

Kevin:   Yeah. They could also be testing you, too-

Leanne:   For sure.

Kevin:   … because a lot of sellers understand that your skill as a negotiator is going to be on display no matter whether you’re listing a property or whether you’re selling it, so how you handle that conversation with them is how you’re going to handle it with the buyer.

Leanne:   Yeah. Absolutely. That’s a really valid point. I’m not necessarily a big believer in scripts and dialogues because I think people need to be very authentic in their communication, but I do believe that you need to be aware of what the objections might be and practise them. Just go through role plays with somebody in your office that you’re comfortable with so that you know what the objections are going to be, and you need to get comfortable handling them.

Kevin:   Yeah. I really love that point you just made about scripts and dialogues. I think, while they have their place, maybe at the start when you’re new.

Leanne:   When you’re new, yeah.

Kevin:   But when you become experienced, I think it’s only a matter then of understanding the message you want to convey. Then you’ve got to put it in your own language, and no script and dialogue and can do that.

Leanne:   No. Absolutely right. People see through that, see through people that are using those sorts of responses, so yeah. I agree.

Kevin:   Yeah. They can come across as very canned.

Leanne:   They can indeed.

Kevin:   So yeah. Be natural. Understand what that conversation flow is. Understand also that you’re not gonna get every listing you go for. I mean, if that were the case, then you’re probably not doing enough listing presentations.

Leanne:   That’s right, and you really need to debrief after each listing presentation, as well, and work out what went well and be very … People are very quick to say, I didn’t get it because of the fee. I didn’t get it because the other agent threw in the marketing. That might be the reason that the vendor gave you but it’s probably not the only reason. So if you can handle it, it’s great to get a third party to actually ring the vendor and say, “I understand you had so-and-so in here. Can we talk about why you chose to go with another agent?” And if you’re prepared to learn from the ones that you miss out on, it’s going to make you a much better agent in the long term.

Kevin:   Yeah. I learned a trick many, many years ago, and it’s not something that I developed. It was actually done to me. It was an insurance salesman who we had said no to, and he clearly understood that we just needed a bit more information, and we were uncomfortable. He actually closed his book up and said, “Okay. Fine. I accept that that is your decision. Thank you very much for seeing me. Just before I go, could you tell me, is there anything that I could have done better to help make you feel more comfortable about this process?” And you know what, Leanne, before we’d finished, we were actually signing the contract with the guy.

Leanne:   Oh, stop it. Yeah. Nice. Yeah.

Kevin:   We were, because he actually just totally disarmed us, and all he needed to do was give us more information, but he couldn’t actually find out from us what it was.

Leanne:   What is was. Yeah. So he built some trust with you-

Kevin:   Yeah. He did.

Leanne:   … when he closed that book and said, okay. This is just us. This is not a presentation anymore.

Kevin:   That’s right.

Leanne:   Yeah. Nice.

Kevin:   Exactly. Leanne Pilkington. Back again tomorrow.

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